Actually, he is correct, becuase Jews, like Christians, do not issue religious edicts that demand offending individuals to be murdered. It’s what makes this whole situation so farcical, the people who are the weakest get targeted the most, the people (Muslims) who claim to be weak, threaten all offenders with death and steadily gain more and more authority and power.
Aftenposten: On Friday, Valner submitted a report to the police in Bærum, because he views Jespersen’ monologue on the TV 2-programme last Thursday to have gone way too far, writes Dagsavisen. ”I would also like to take the opportunity to remember all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers, without having done anything wrong other than settling on persons of Jewish background,” said Jespersen in the programme.
” Jespersen’s statements are offensive and defamatory,” says Valner, who lost his father and eight other family members in German concentration camps during the war. He thinks he sees signs that anti-Semitism is spreading in Norwegian society. Information director, Marianne Røiseland of TV 2 is postponing comment until the police report is official, writes Dagsavisen.
Aftenposten: Several of Jespersen’s comedian colleagues defend the comedy. “I think that Otto Jespersen is well within limits. It was clear satire,” says the comedian, Johan Golden to VG Nett.
Comedian, Henrik Elvestad did not see the monologue, but speaks in general:
“At other times when there have been controversies about Otto, such as the flag-burning episode, I have always been on Otto’s side. I think he is well within limits,” he says.
Jespersen also receives support from his boss, Alf Hildtrum. “The claims that Jespersen has anti-Semitic sympathies is completely false. I don’t believe it. Otto Jespersen is trying to make a point in these monologues, and the text should be judged in context. It shouldn’t be taken in isolation,” says the TV 2-director to VG Nett. However, the TV-2 director admits he can understand that some could feel offended by the text.
Please take note, the Tundra Tabloids would be objecting as well, to any comedian comparing any people to fleas and lice. The man deserves to see his character called into question and revenue shrink, not be fined or face time in jail. KGS
Special note of thanks to Rolf Krake for the translations.
H/T: Manfred Gerstenfeld.
NOTE: Rolf Krake took time to translate another article from the Norwegian Newspaper Aftenposten, in which the Culture and debate editor, Knut Olav Åmås, critiques Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld’s book, “Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews“, and admits that Norwegians know very little about Jews and takes note of the rise of antisemitism in Norway.
Knut Olav Åmås: On Tuesday 25 November a large seminar was held in Jerusalem, in which there was a discussion on the new book Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews. The book was edited by Manfred Gerstenfeld, while eight other writers are primarily Israeli and Nordic academics. The book puts forth a long list of claims regarding Norwegian anti-Semitism.
Gerstenfeld’s main thought is that something close to a demonization of Israel is occurring among the Norwegian elites, in particular among left-wing politicians, journalists and activists. On the political side he stresses the many suggestions for a boycott of Israel which have been proposed over the last years, for example by the trade unions and the youth sections of parties such as AUF, and even by Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen, leader of the SV [Socialist Left Party] party, as recently as 2006.Brand New
Let me take a closer look at the boycott as a reaction to Israel’s policies against the Palestinians that violate humanitarian law This is in fact an even more current theme than Gerstenfeld and his co-authors would have thought. At about the same time as the book went into print this fall I noticed an advertisement on the internet of a brand new 36-page booklet by people who call themselves « The Campaign for academic and cultural boycott of Israel». The campaign has even created its own website://www.akademiskboikott.no/ and //www.kulturboikott.no/.
As if the boycott campaign were a concerted one, the last weeks major opinion pieces have appeared throughout the country’s student newspapers, signed by the Palestine committees. Both in Oslo and Bergen there are demands for full academic and cultural boycotts of everything connected with Israel. The boycott is supposed to be far reaching. Yesterday the prestigious Holberg prize was awarded to Frederic Jameson.
Exactly two years ago it went to Shmuel N. Eisenstadt of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. That enraged the author of this autumn’s new boycott booklet, Ebba Wergland, to write an article in the academic paper Replikk. She wrote that he should never have received the prize, since he was an academic representative of the Israeli «apartheid state».
The thought is horrible: An independent awarding of prizes based on academic merit should be subjected to political considerations thereby isolating indepedent researchers. This would mean the triumph of irrationality over reason. It would also mean the end of debate, and that the beginning of black and white thinking has taken over in which the perpetrator and the victim have been defined once and for all. Those who boycott thus act as an absolute judge.
In fact an academic boycott would be a lot more serious than a consumer boycott, because it assaults one of society’s fundamental values, freedom of expression and thought.
Strange boycott-like circumstances also occur now and then in Norwegian cultural life, when someone plans to invite Israeli participants to an event. Soon enough there will be demands that a similar number of Palestinian participants must be invited, simultaneously or else the concert or performance will become too «political». Inviting a Palestinian artist without also inviting an Israeli, however, is not considered politically charged, but neutral.
One must ask : When will the Norwegian left-wing initiate a boycott of regimes not even close to being as democratic and free as Israel, but which are authoritarian, almost totalitarian states? Syria and Saudi Arabia are among the world’s worst violators of human rights. And what about the Norwegian left-wing’s critical opposition toward the new authoritarian regimes in Russia and China? It is very hard to find that anywhere.
In that sense the critics in this week new Israeli book are right to a small extent: An apparent one-sidedness characterizes parts of the Norwegian public sphere in its criticism of Israel.
Attacking the mediaThe book however does not make top politics, professional life, schools, universities, cultural life or any other sector of society such a clear target as the media. One gets the feeling that there is a systematic production of anti-Semitism in all leading media. This anti-Semitism appears in its new disguise, anti-Israelism writes Gerstenfeld.
Furthermore, the editor asserts that over the last several years Aftenposten has published a number of extreme cartoons, articles and letters to the editor and he links that directly back to the history of Aftenposten before and during the Second World War. He also describers the characteristics of Jostein Gaarder’s column, which was published in Aftenposten in August 2006 during the war against Lebanon as dominated by «strong antisemitic rhetoric. The accusations of anti-Semitism are just as weak in the debatable as well as debate provoking collection of articles.
The book does not debate what might be the most important explanation of the current lack of Norwegian judgment on issues regarding Israel and the Jewish people. There exists in Norway an incomparable deep estrangement from and embarrassing ignorance about, everything Jewish. The discrimination of Norwegian Jews from the time following the Second World War and till today has thus remained largely invisible.
It is, as Jahn Otto Johansen writes in his booklet ‘The New-Old Antisemitism’, which was published last week, when the Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson-Academy held a conference about current antisemitism. It was not «the active and passive backing of the persecution of the Jews which was a pre-condition for the hard core anti-Semites to convince large sections of German society to collaborate in a criminal policy and practice, but a broad portion of the population was characterized by lack of concern, not caring, moral numbness and denial. There were no counterforces.
Who are the counterforces to anti-Semitism in Norway today?
Recently Aftenposten reported that « Jew » has again become a swear word among teenagers in Norwegian school yards. And, for some years we have already seen that the hatred of Jews has found fertile ground among some young Muslims in this country.
It is therefore two necessary reminders that are put forward by Sidsel Levin, head of the Jewish Museum in Oslo in today’s poll: Anti-semitism is the problem of the whole of Norwegian society. But most Norwegians rarely recognize anti-Semitism when they see it. Therefore it can grow.
Behind the Humanitarian Mask
Norway got especially harsh treatment during a seminar in Jerusalem two days ago [25 November 08] about «hidden» antisemitism in the Nordic countries.
The book Behind the Humanitarian Mask. The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews was the starting point for what he organizers at The Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs (JCPA), call «the first in depth study on the positions of the Nordic countries regarding Jews, Zionsm and Israel. JCPA spreads information, including lectures on a high level, aimed toward foreign correspondents and diplomats.
During the seminar nobody had any doubt as to who the three panel speakers consider the worst regarding Nordic anti-Semitism, hidden behind anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism – with the humanitarian mask as a disarming facade: Sweden and not the least Norway. Even though also Finland, Iceland – and even Denmark are far from perfect, they came out far better.Negative role
The well attended seminar heard mostly about Norway’s negative role: being the leading country in Europe when it concerns anti-Semitic caricatures in the media, often completely in line with those printed in the Nazi German paper der Stuermer. . Against the prohibition of Jewish ritual slaughter, it was noted that Norwegian hunters and whale catchers afflict far greater – and bigger – suffering than the Jewish slaughter method.
The shots against the Synagogue in Oslo, the attacks on the Jewish cantor on Karl Johan [central shopping street in Oslo], Jostein Gaarder’s column, Raymond Johansen’s talks with Hamas and Kristin Halvorsen’s call for a boycott were mentioned as examples of why Norway’s tiny Jewish minority considers it wise to keep a low profile.
The Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish embassies in Israel apparently declined to comment on the theme of the seminar, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.The Danish ambassador, Liselotte Plesner, does not deny that the deportation of 21 Jews to Nazi Germany during the Second World War was a tragedy. But she underlines that, after all, Denmark saved almost all of its 7000 Jews.